Strategic Planning Meeting Held

The Trustees held a strategic planning meeting in January in order to assess various aspects of their mission, current status and future initiatives. As in the past, discussions prompted a range of ideas and possible solutions. In the end, conclusions were reached to which all agreed. Here are a few: The Trustees need to encourage and recruit new individuals to refresh and replace long serving members..new energy is needed; We need volunteers who could spend a few (or a lot) of hours reviewing and inventorying records of the town, the church, or those of the Canterbury Women’s Club, among a host of others; we have a large collection of old deeds which we need to inventory so they can be transcribed to a digital format; there are pictures from the 1976/1977 Bicentennial requiring “people identification”.

If any of this interests you please contact Mary Ann Winograd at the Elkins library, or email us at bobscarp1@gmail.com.

The Boston POST Cane Tradition

Canterbury, New Hampshire

The Boston Post Cane tradition was established in 1909 by the Boston Post Newspaper. A special cane was presented to the Board of Selectmen in 431 towns in New England, to be presented as an honor to each town’s oldest resident. The recipient held the honor as long as he/she lived (or moved from the town). Upon his or her death (or move) the cane would be awarded to the next oldest resident.

The Cane would belong to the town and not the resident who received it.

To provide for preservation and public awareness of the tradition and protection of the cane from loss or damage, the Town of Canterbury and the Historical Society, will establish a policy and definition for Canterbury’s oldest resident.

Eligibility and Selection

The holder of the Cane must be 90 years young and be a legal resident of the Town of Canterbury and have lived here for the last 20 years although we will allow for periods of absence.

The term “resident” refers to a person who has physically resided at a fixed, permanent and principal home in the town.

Recognizing that numerous individuals establish residency in Canterbury’s nursing homes late in life but otherwise may not be engaged as residents of the Town of Canterbury and recognizing that the Town has no formal means of identifying residents by age, selection of the honoree shall be by a Committee of three. The Committee will consist of 3 members of the Canterbury Historical Society.

Method to Search for Oldest Resident

There shall be a notice placed in the media, Concord Monitor, and the Church Newsletter, the Town website, looking for nominations of those residents who are 90 years old or older and have been a resident of Canterbury for a minimum of the last 20 years although we will allow for periods of absence. All nominations must be received in the Town Clerk’s Office, or Historical Society, 30 days from the date of the posting of the notice in the media. The search may also include an informal survey, general public knowledge, and inquiries to nursing homes, civic groups, and churches or by nomination from family or friends. A nomination form may be obtained from the Town Clerk’s Office or on the Town Website.


The Chair of the committee, a Representative of the Selectmen shall present Canterbury’s oldest resident with a plaque donated by the Historical Societysignifying the honor and shall cause the name of the honoree to be inscribed on a plaque to be displayed along with the original Boston Post Cane at the ElkinsLibrary. There shall also be certificates awarded honoring those residents who are 90 years old or older and meet the residency requirements.

The location of the presentation will be determined according to the circumstances of the honoree. The recipient will retain this honor as long as he/she remains in Canterbury even though another resident may become eligible. The Town Clerk’s Office, Historical Society, must be notified if the recipient of the Boston Post Cane dies, changes residency outside the Town, is in rehabilitation longer than 90 days or otherwise refuses or returns the honor. At thattime the Committee of three shall determine the new oldest resident of Canterbury.

If the decision is made to no longer display the Boston Post Cane at the Elkins Library, it will be placed in the custody of the Canterbury Historical Society.

Download an eligibility form by clicking here


The Society’s Historic Sign Committee has succeeded in gaining approval from the NHDOT for a sign to be placed at the site of the Worsted Church (burned 1958) at Hills Corner to mark its location and history. Working with the Division of Historic Resources and the DOT, committee member Harry Kinter, whose help was invaluable, and fellow committee members have begun work on completing the necessary paperwork leading to its installation. 

Our Canterbury Business and Community Directory is in its final stages of preparation and will be published shortly. Originally the booklet was intended to serve as a Welcome to Canterburydirectory for new residents. It will be a ready reference and contain information about businesses, schools, clubs, organizations, churches, town offices, etc. It will be published shortly. Watch this space!

AmazonSmile is a way for you to support us!  Amazon will donate a portion of eligible purchases to the CHS,or to a charity you choose. Visit smile.amazon.com to sign up. Sign in with the same account you use for amazon.com. Shop and then sign out at smile.amazon.com. Amazon will automatically send us a contribution at no cost to you or us!



The famous Bee Gees’ song “Staying Alive” could not have been more apt as the historical society’s trustees officially met for the first time in 14 months on May 4th. The meeting proved we are very much alive and here are some of the items we discussed;

  • We will be redesigning our website and link it to the town’s website with the much appreciated  help of Jane Balshaw.
  • We will mount an exhibit in the Elkins Memorial building this summer if the Fair Committee decides to hold the Canterbury Fair in July.
  • Trustees voted unanimously to begin the task of posting all (approximately 650 ) Luther Cody digitized photographs (mostly of Canterbury) dating from the late 1890’s to our website.
  • The trustees voted to create a committee to begin the process of identifying historic sites in Canterbury with the idea of placing historic markers on them. The site of the Worsted Church will be the first location. Fred Brewster will head the committee which will include Harry Kinter, Mary Kerwin and Paul Lepesqueur.
  • The School House program will go on this year in an abbreviated form with all children visiting and taking part in short lessons taught by Karen Gingrich. We hope to resume the full program next school year.
  • The trustees voted to accept the donation of a bed frame made by a Clough family member about 200 years ago which was housed in the Clough Tavern until the mid 1950’s. It will be held in our Archive Collection.   
  • It was voted to seek replacements for two vacant trustee positions and to seek volunteer replacements from town. If you are interested or need information send a note to canterbury.nh.historical.society@gmail.com or call Bob Scarponi 783-9594.   

You see! We are definitely Staying Alive!

Plans for 2018!

The Society’s trustees gathered on January 6th for what has become an annual event, i.e. reviewing the past year’s activities, assessing the Society’s current situation and planning for the upcoming year and beyond. Many items were discussed including:
    The One Room Schoolhouse Program – This will be our 11th year recreating the one room schoolhouse experience in which all Canterbury elementary school children participate as well as all the second graders from Belmont elementary school. The program will focus on the year 1887 and the curriculum will be designed as it might have been then. This is a program that has won national recognition and which all the students very  much look forward to. Like to be involved? Let us know!
    Exhibits – We plan to mount an exhibit later in the spring in the Elkins Memorial Building (former library) entitled, ”Out of the Archives” which will feature objects and materials from the Society’s archive collection. Do you have an idea for an exhibit? We are “all ears”!
    Programs – The Society will be sponsoring two “Humanities To-Go” programs in conjunction with the Elkins Library. The first will be on April 10th presented by Glenn Knoblock entitled, N.H. On High: Historic and Unusual Weathervanes of the Granite State”. The second will be on October 23rd presented by Steve Taylor entitled, “Poor Houses and Town Farms: The Hard Row for Paupers”. Both at 7 P.M. in the library. Do you have a program idea? Something you’d like to see? We’d love to hear from you!
    Archive Collection- Strategies for managing the collection were discussed including organization, accessibility and growth. If this is an area of interest, let us know!
    Sundry other issues- Some of which were the review of our current by-laws, committee structure, succession planning, signage, our new town history, continuation of oral history interviews and their transcriptions, potential grant applications, the Luther Cody glass negative collection and future planning. Interest in being a Trustee? Let’s talk!
Clearly, we have many areas on which to focus and would welcome you to assist, volunteer, or contribute support to any area you might find of interest. Visit us at www.canterburyhistory.org or email us at canterbury.nh.historical.society@gmail.com

CHS cohosts birthday celebration at Canterbury Shaker Village


On Sunday July 9th, 2017 from 3-5PM the Canterbury Shaker Village will be celebrating their 225th anniversary!  As part of their acknowledgement of the town and it’s citizens that have supported them all these years, they have asked the Canterbury Historical Society to co-host the event.  All Village staff members and CHS board members will be present to meet and greet, and our new book will be for sale.  All Canterbury residents can visit the Village for free this day, and continuing for the duration of 2017!

The birthday celebration will include their famous rosewater cake and sarsaparilla ice cream floats serenaded with music by local fiddler and contra dance caller,  Dudley Laufman.  Attendees will be given a gift of a bookmark produced on their antique letter-press.

Canterbury Shaker Village birthday bash

Sunday, July 9th 3-5PM

free admission for all Canterbury residents for the entire 2017 season!  Check in at the visitors center.


Book signing LAUNCH event

Sunday June 25th from 1:00PM to 4:00PM  @ the Canterbury Elementary School

The Historical Society is pleased to announce a “Launch Party” celebrating the publication of a new history of Canterbury which chronicles the events, people and ideas that shaped the town’s history in the 20th Century. Over 200 people were involved in the project over the span of four years. Author Kathryn Grover, a noted writer and historian, was engaged to write the history which is titled, “Staying Small in a Century of Growth”. The well known Peter Randall Publishers of Portsmouth was engaged to handle all the publishing details. Ms. Grover has produced a very readable, enjoyable and comprehensive history that stands apart from most others.

All are invited to attend the “Launch”, to hear Kathryn Grover’s story of how she wrote the history, answer questions about the book and of course, to sign copies. Books will be available that day for purchase. We look forward to seeing you there!

Postcard graphic JPEG

Read more about the book here…